Lean ground beef is an excellent source of meal-prep protein, packed with ZIP (zinc, iron and protein) and only about 150-ish calories for a cooked 3 ounces serving (4 ounce uncooked). My master recipe for Make Ahead Italian Ground Beef is easy to make, economical, ultra-versatile and freezes/defrosts beautifully rendering it ideal for freezer meals, meal prepping and make-ahead solutions.
Time and time again, I’ve used these deliciously seasoned beef crumbles in wholesome, hearty recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The recipe is basic, but the way it can be used in dishes is limited only to your imagination. Read on to get all the details and get a juicy, meaty jump start on your daily protein needs. Continue reading →
Set aside part of Sunday, or any day really, to meal prep myHoney Garlic Slow Cooker Shredded Chickenthat can be used in the four recipes that I share in this post — its an economical and convenient way to set yourself up for success on your health, fitness or weight-loss journey.
The slow-cooker chicken is spread divided up to make 4 different recipes covering breakfast, lunch and dinner — that means you can stock your fridge with 16 individually-portioned meals than can be enjoyed throughout the week or frozen for use later. Read on to get the shopping list, recipes and execution strategy. Continue reading →
When life hands you lemons, make Preserved Lemons! Although back in 80-degree weather in January (!), a super cold spell last weekend required harvesting of citrus off the Meyer Lemon trees . . . including a bumper crop coming from my aunt in Houston. While making lemonade, lemon curd, lemon preserves and other citrus-y staples are a sweet way to use an abundance of the fruit, I was looking for something to use in savory dishes.
Feedback is in from friends, family and those of y’all around the Internets . . . . this hearty, healthy Banana Quinoa, Oats ‘n More Breakfast Bake is a winner! Other nutritious ingredients I’ve snuck inside this make-ahead breakfast meal — hemp seeds, chia seeds and cacoa nibs!
This post and giveaway was sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q , however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own.
This holiday season, I’ve made a vow to make all my meals with love, happiness and smiles. Not just the big celebration dinners, but also the crazy night meals when we’ve been out all day running errands, visiting with family or volunteering with our favorite charity (Brown Santa). Some times on these chaotic nights, I get grumbly about making supper, but shortcuts with Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Qproducts keep me grinning even after sitting in shopping mall traffic or spending hours trying to figure out which bulb in a string of lights has burned out.
For this slow cooker recipe, I’ve used Stubb’s Smokehouse Bourbon Cookin’ Sauce. This convienient product (which is gluten free) works in both the skillet and slow cooker. It contains a flavorful sauce pouch made with bourbon, garlic and rosemary along with a spice packet that can be used to prep the meat.
One little hint extra step I have for this quick and easy recipe is to brown the stew meat before putting in the crock pot. While this may seem unnecessary (and you can skip if absolutely pressed for time), it does create an amazing caramelization on the beef which helps to create a more complex flavor experience.
Don’t just think of Stubb’s ONLY as a way to fix traditional Texas BBQ. They have so many delicious Bar-B-Q sauces, marinades, rubs and Cookin’ Sauces that offer bold flavors to spur on your creativity in the kitchen this holiday season.
Of course, I love to create my own new holiday recipes as well as revisit family food traditions, but why recreate the wheel on every single side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter family gatherings when Stubb’s has complied a delicious collection of recipes for the season?!
Yes-sir-ee, the Stubb’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts will be a delicious compliment to my Slow Cooker Cranberry-Orange Beef Stew with Rosemary Garlic Grits. You need to try these, so amazing!
To help you get cooking with down-home but daring style, I’m hosting a giveaway for one reader to win a Stubb’s Prize Pack that includes a spatula, T-shirt, Stubb’s hat and coupons for free Stubb’s products (yeehaw)! Just enter via the Rafflecopter app below:
Sprinkle stew meat with spice packet from Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce (or simply season with salt and pepper for alternative preparation).
Heat large, heavy-duty skillet to medium-high heat and brown stew meat in single layer. Don’t overcrowd, work in batches if necessary, draining cooking liquid between.
Add browned stew meat to 6-quart slow cooker along with chopped onion, cranberry sauce, orange segments, orange zest, bourbon and Stubb’s Slow Cooker Sauce. Stir to combine.
Top slow cooker with lid and simmer on high heat for 4 to 6 hours, or until beef tender. If desired, add 1 cup fresh cranberries to last 1 hour of simmering.
*** If you can’t find Stubb’s Cookin’ Smokehouse Bourbon Flavor, the use this substitute. To season stew meat before browning, sprinkle with mixture of 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. For liquid, add 1 cup beef broth, 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and add an additional 1 ounce of bourbon whiskey.
Add water to saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in grits, sage and salt and then reduce to medium-low for simmer.
Simmer for about 7 minutes stirring frequently. When thickened, stir in cheese until incorporated. Remove from heat.
To serve, place a mound of grits on a plate and use a slotted spoon to remove beef, onions and fruit from slow cooker. Top with optional garnishes of grated orange zest and chopped parsley.
Each time I enjoy my recipe for Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho, I want to kick off my sandals and run through the green lawn shouting “whoohoo!” That’s because this light and lovely chilled soup captures the essence of spring, and I live for the spring . . . and summer. Warmer weather calls for cooler food and this chilled soup is a twist on gazpacho, a classic Spanish recipe. For my version, I’ve added carrots, ginger and a coconut water base to help with hydration. Perfect for a light lunch, Easter brunch or way to start your pool-side dinner – save a few cucumber slices for your eyes so you can feel like a pampered spa guest.
When I serve this Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho to my family, I smile and say “some bunny loves you!” That’s because I know how much wholesome, healthy nutrition in packed into each spoonful of this chilled soup– loads of lycopene, vitamin K, potassium and dietary fiber to mention a few benefits. Plus, you get all the healing benefits of ginger – it helps tame digestive issues, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system. Plus, I personally adore the zingy taste – you can add more or less fresh ginger depending on your preference.
To optimize taste and health benefits, please use fresh ginger and not ground ginger, bottled minced ginger or ginger paste. A little knobby length of ginger will stay fresh in your produce bin for a couple months and if you have the right grater, it’s easy and mess-free to get what you need. Not trying to sound infomercial-y, but this Dual Gage Grater is a must-have for ginger, garlic, turmeric, citrus zest, hard cheeses and such it’s only $3! The two sides each have a different grate size and the “V” shape catches all the teeny-tiny shavings so they don’t fall all over the counter or plate – you simply tip over into the bowl and scrape off. Plus, after you rinse off and dry, it slides back into itself for easy storage.
This recipe works for many diet types including Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, sugar-free, gluten-free and more. Also, if you’re a meal-prepper, this soup that doesn’t’ need to be reheated makes a nice alternative to the standard make-ahead fare for grab-and-go healthy lunches and quick dinners. Keep refrigerated in tightly sealed mason jars or plastic containers for up to five days and transfer to a lunch box with ice-pack. Enjoy. Linking up with The Fit Foodie Mama and Running on Happy – please check out!
Are you a gazpacho fan? Do you prefer warm weather or hot? Did you run a race this weekend or have a competition? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer
Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho -- Paleo
This chilled soup is a light and lovely prelude to any spring meal -- Paleo, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, raw and low-sodium.
Add sliced carrots to microwave-safe dish and add ½-inch water to bottom. Top with lid and microwave for approximately 3 minutes or until steamed and tender, but not mushy. Remove from microwave and add to colander, rinsing with cold water.
Add carrots, cucumber, tomatoes with juice, onion, ginger, vinegar, lemon zest and lemon juice to blender. Pour coconut water on top and process until smooth, adding more coconut water if needed (or sub water, if can empty).
Can serve at room temperature, but tastes better if chilled for several hours prior. Garnish with additional lemon zest, snipped mint and unsweetened shredded coconut.
I have a fondness for salads . . . actually maybe an addiction. Cooked veggies are pretty darn good, but if I don’t get my salad every day, better get out of my way! What I love about salads is that they are easy to make, can be made-ahead of time to pack in a lunch or wait in the fridge until I get done running. Many of my salad creations are impromptu, made with pre-cooked lean proteins, healthy pantry staples and whatever produce I find in the bin. Of course, another benefit of eating salads (that is, if you don’t douse with fattening dressing) is that the ingredients are naturally low-fat and packed with important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are so important for the maintenance and protection of your heart and body. But, don’t just eat salad, exercise too – wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
Raspberry & Feta Salad with Wheat Berries – This salad features cooked grains atop a green salad to provide loads of minerals and soak up flavors from the dressing of your choice. This is a favorite salad from the Racing Weight Cookbook (Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes) — a great resource with more that 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit (or stay at) your ideal weight without compromising performance.
Raspberry and Feta Salad with Wheat Berries
Bright and beautiful, this salad features cooked grains atop a green salad to provide loads of minerals and soak up flavors from the dressing you love best.
Blueberry Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Chicken – Delicate, sweet yumminess – there is no other way to describe this entrée salad recipe. As a kid, we used to grow sugar snap peas in the early summer garden – so happy to have them year-round today my market.
Tropical Fusion Salad with Spicy Tortilla Ribbons – This pretty salad of mine is a cover girl, appearing a few years back on the COVER of Taste of Home magazine. Colorful fruits and veggies topped with oven-crunched tortilla strips make this salad a show-stopping stunner – that is until you announce “dig in!”
Seared Beef & Mango Thai Noodle Salad – The succulent flavor of seared beef pairs exotically alongside sweet mangos – toss in some other veggies and thin rice noodles for a balanced and beautiful meal.
Black Bean, Avocado & Corn Salad – This salad has been a family favorite for years and is actually been declared a contest winner by the California Avocado Commission. A healthy side dish for a BBQ or taco night, but I’ve been known to serve up a big bowl and call it dinner!
Strawberry Cucumber & Spinach Salad – I have a hankering this lush and lovely salad is the one you’ll want to cut out hearts in the cucumbers and serve up to your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Serve as a side or top with the lean protein of your choice . . . .might I suggest scallops?!
Skinny Cranberry Pecan Salad – I love chicken salad. Cool, creamy and packed with lean protein, chicken salad is a go-to meal on my family’s overscheduled evenings. This makeover-recipe salad uses Greek yogurt for a healthier (and more protein-packed) meal.
Welcome! If you are stopping by via Taste of Home Feb / March 2015 Issue or my cooking segment on the Home & Family lifestyle show (Hallmark Channel), the Beef Egg and Bake recipe is featured below. I invite you to take a look around my blog, I have lots of other family-friendly recipes and meal solutions that will make your life easier and healthier! In fact, I’ve rounded up a collection of “Double Batch Weekend Cooking” recipes that are ideal for stockpiling during weekend, freezing and thawing out for quick meal on those days when your to-do list just keeps growing.
Back to the Beef, Egg and Potato Bake — this down-home, country-inspired breakfast casserole has been lightened for today’s hungry yet health-conscious go-getter. What tastes like sausage is actually super-lean ground beef that has been specially seasoned — but that’s not where the health swaps stop! Added dairy products are reduced in fat and nutrient-rich veggies are incorporated to round out your morning meal.
I originally made this breakfast casserole recipe as a way way to incorporate more protein into breakfast — and ended up demonstrating it all over the state of Texas at the American Heart Associations “Go Red for Women” events last year. I never had a scrap of samples left, so I think it was a hit! When making this at home, you can save precious time my preparing it the night before and baking in the morning. Leftovers may be frozen in single-serve portions and reheated in microwave for the busiest of busy mornings. If you need to eat it while walking out the door, just wrap it in a whole grain tortilla!
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef with onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, sage and pepper flakes over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up beef into 3/4-inch crumbles; drain. Stir in spinach. Remove from heat.
Spread potatoes in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; top with beef mixture.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, ricotta cheese, milk, pepper and remaining salt; pour over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with tomatoes.
Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.